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Friday, January 4, 2013

Hard Candy and the Rape Crew

Posted by on Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 3:18 PM

The movie that introduced the now-famous Ellen Page is Hard Candy, a locally produce film (Vulcan Pictures) about a 14-year-old girl who captures and brutally tortures a pedophile. What I had to say about the film:

Hard Candy is a pure fantasy—and a very dangerous one, at that. At Sundance, the president of Lions Gate (who bought the film for $4 million) told reporters that Hard Candy could sell as "a female-empowerment [horror] movie." But how many 14-year-olds in the world (girls or boys) have the intellectual and financial resources to orchestrate, against a pedophile, a revenge that is as elaborate and efficacious as the one in Hard Candy? A person of that age is, in reality, just a child—and this is precisely where the film, in theory, falls apart. If she can act as an adult, then she can be judged as one. But her form of empowerment is a fantasy, whereas a 14-year-old receiving an adult judgment is a reality.

51FMhZvoq4L._SX500_-1.jpeg

Americans always find it hard to believe that children are not individuals; children are becoming individuals, and this process is incredibly slow for humans. (Indeed, a human brain does not reach the end of its development until the early 20s.) So, minors are, one, not individuals, and, two, very vulnerable. The most a minor can do is reflect, respond to, be shaped by the world they find themselves in. And the world they find themselves in happens to be more social than the worlds of all other mammals. A 14-year-old is not a woman; she is a child, and as such does not have the agency/force/command/emotional resources of an adult female.

The same goes for those boys captured on the video, going on and on about rape and death. The reason that video is so unwatchable is because we are stuck in a room with unfinished brains that have been filled to the brim with such nonsense. As much as we want to punish and treat the Rape Team as adults, they are only boys (16), have the minds of boys, and the reasoning powers of boys. We should not be throwing their names and images around in public; this is something you do to grown up offenders, to individuals who really know what they are doing and saying. The problem with these boys is to be found for the most part in how they're being socialized—their parents, culture, religion, and political/economic system. No one comes from nothing.

 

Comments (80) RSS

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TVDinner 1
Yeah, those young men are going to be fine, upstanding adults in just a few years.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on January 4, 2013 at 4:27 PM · Report this
2
Bullshit. Shame is part of how we train people to be better. It can be applied incorrectly, as it is against this rape victim. It can be used correctly, as it is against these little shitbags. It's that or slap them, and sadly we're not allowed to do that.
Posted by NateMan on January 4, 2013 at 4:29 PM · Report this
3
A 14 year old can't consent to commit rape?
Posted by GermanSausage on January 4, 2013 at 4:34 PM · Report this
4
@3 Not only can't they consent to commit it, by this twisted logic, it must not be a crime to rape one. If a teenager or child isn't an individual, surely the rape of one is no worse than, say, bestiality.

Seriously, do you not think this stuff through?
Posted by NateMan on January 4, 2013 at 4:37 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 5
That guy, Nodianos, is 18 & a student at Ohio State. Or, at least he was until Dec. 12, that much the school will confirm.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on January 4, 2013 at 4:37 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 6
@2,

Especially considering, were it not for the current public shaming and outrage, these shitbags would be continuing to rape teenage girls. There's evidence that they've done this to at least two girls, and probably more given their moniker.

And at least one of them is 18, legally an adult.
Posted by keshmeshi on January 4, 2013 at 4:39 PM · Report this
7
Absolute bullshit. Some of these "boys" are now in college where the rape crew moniker followed them. Yes, they were called the rape crew even before this situation occurred meaning they have done this to multiple girls and continue to do so to this day. They are so brazen about these conquests that they post pictures of the girls, unconscious, to Instagram and Facebook.

It is possible for children to be psychopaths and sociopaths. It's very clear in the video that these guys were very intoxicated. Taking drugs and drinking heavily while at such a young age along with having mental issues, a town who gives them a God complex and a web of adults protecting them makes for very dangerous boys, and even just as dangerous adults...maybe even more so.

You are way off the mark here, Charles.
Posted by stuffandthings on January 4, 2013 at 4:40 PM · Report this
pragmatic 8
The Death Penalty for parents it is then :)!!
Posted by pragmatic on January 4, 2013 at 4:43 PM · Report this
Charles Mudede 9
Sorry, guys, on CNN, a number of these boys could not be named because they are minors. your outrage needs to fit the reality and be directed to their society and upbringing. and they were not brought up in a cave by wolves.
Posted by Charles Mudede on January 4, 2013 at 4:47 PM · Report this
10
I'd rather watch a movie about a guy getting fucked by a horse, particularly if it's based on the prurient interest of some third world, pseudo-intellectual at the Stranger.
Posted by Stranger'sWorstNightmare on January 4, 2013 at 4:51 PM · Report this
wingedkat 11
I agree with Mudede that children (such as these boys) should not be tried as adults, but also with the commenters that public shaming is an effective deterrent.

The problem is that by shaming these boys in pubic, we are effectively ruining their chance of changing and recovering from their actions. That is a problem inherent in a society that tries juveniles as adults and adds children to sex-offender lists.

We should be able to recognize that mistakes are made by children and youth, while using shame and discipline to establish that the behavior is wrong without destroying all future chance of a good life.
Posted by wingedkat on January 4, 2013 at 4:51 PM · Report this
12
By that logic ("your outrage needs to fit the reality and be directed to their society and upbringing. and they were not brought up in a cave by wolves") nobody is responsible for anything, and no action is ever deserving of outrage. Kids shouldn't be shamed for having ill-considered opinions, or phrasing things inartfully, or in other ways being less than fully adult. But for being vicious, violent criminals? Shame is the least they deserve.
Posted by Kiznit on January 4, 2013 at 5:00 PM · Report this
monkey 13
Shame the fuck out of those little bastards! If they don't suffer the consequences of their actions they will not learn anything.

That "they're just kids" bullshit, while technically true, does not fly with me.

And I really would like to hear from these kids' parents.
Posted by monkey on January 4, 2013 at 5:21 PM · Report this
Lissa 14
And who is it that is missing from this conversation? Whose future over whom no hands are wrung by Charles? Who?
The girl they raped.
Do you think that we might spare a thought for her Charles?
Shame them? They fucking well should be shamed and it fucking well should scar them as much as she has been scarred by them.
This should follow them for the rest of their lives. And their parents and coaches and all the adults who fostered this evil in these boys and tried to cover it up. If I had my way that whole lot would bear the mark of Cain.
Posted by Lissa on January 4, 2013 at 5:22 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 15
@11,

The inherent problem is that, as a society, we've decided we don't give a shit about rehabilitation. Given that most likely sending them to prison (or juvie) will only make them worse criminals, public shaming is a practical matter because, once they're released, they won't have been rehabilitated.

We live in a country where simply being accused of a crime (not charged, not prosecuted, not convicted) is enough to destroy your chances of gainful employment.

The solution to that is to change attitudes about criminals and rehabilitation, not to claim that 16-year-old serial rapists can't be held accountable for their actions.
Posted by keshmeshi on January 4, 2013 at 5:23 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 16
@13,

The mother of one of the accused: http://www.handsintothelight.com/daphane…
Posted by keshmeshi on January 4, 2013 at 5:33 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 17
"Americans always find it hard to believe that children are not individuals". Americans don't find it hard to believe children are individuals, that's asinine. They're NOT adults however, that is what we believe. Duh, they're called children for a reason.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on January 4, 2013 at 5:36 PM · Report this
Stripes 18
@14 I wholeheartedly agree with this! There's so much talk about how to handle this, the future of the accused, etc. So very little, that I've seen, about the girl, the victim.

I also agree that this should follow them their entire lives. Can you remember when you were 16? Or even younger? Sure, you may have been immature. But you had morals did you not? I know I did. By and large, I have the same personality and makings I did when I was 16. And just somehow I managed to never commit any atrocious crimes. Most of us did like that. Age in this case, is just not good enough of an excuse not to hold the individuals responsible, sorry.

There's something wrong with them, I'm sure upbringing is in play. But even just minimally experiencing the world, I'm thinking of school here, I think it's reasonable to assume that most children develop an understanding of what is right and wrong, at least by their teens. Don't cut these boys loose. Hold them accountable.
Posted by Stripes on January 4, 2013 at 6:05 PM · Report this
TVDinner 19
Charles, they urinated on her. They stuck their dicks in her anus, her vagina, and her mouth, multiple times. They mocked her on Twitter. They moved her to three different places and encouraged others to violate her as well.

Now I absolutely agree that we need to examine the culture in which they were raised, a culture that has taught them that women's bodies are commodities, that they have the right to degrade others and flout the rules the rest of us live by, and that they are owed sex, but lots of young men are products of the same culture and not rapists.

And as Lissa has rightly pointed out, where is the concern for the victim in this conversation?

Posted by TVDinner http:// on January 4, 2013 at 6:15 PM · Report this
TVDinner 20
And right when I posted that I noticed the giant Deja Vu ad to the right of my comment, saying, "It's all about you!"
Posted by TVDinner http:// on January 4, 2013 at 6:17 PM · Report this
21
16: Wow. That's worse than the video of the guys.

If children are not fully responsible for their actions because their brains are not fully formed and upbringing etc., and so they get reduced sentences, does that mean that the parents should have to serve the difference?
Posted by redemma on January 4, 2013 at 6:25 PM · Report this
22
I get the sense that a disturbing number of people, specially kids, need to be reminded of what constitutes rape. It's not just the woman screaming and struggling while the rapist forces himself upon her. It's any sexual act - intercourse, fingering, fondling, etc. - where the other person has not consented, perhaps because she/he is unconscious or way inebriated, or because he/she doesn't have the ability to make an informed judgment. We should also drill the concept that the other person is well within her/his rights to stop the physical interaction at any time, regardless of how into it she/he had been earlier. Also, nobody owes anybody sex, unless one person is selling it and the other person has bought it. That includes married couples. If you violate these rules, then you're raping the person... Or you may be, depending on the laws of wherever you are. (Too much of the legal system is behind when it comes to issues of rape. And in a nation and a world where most rapists don't serve any time, that's more than just an aside.) So, once more, it appears that better sex education is needed in our public high schools.

That said, I remember what it was like to be a dumb teenager and we weren't too dense to not realize that drugging a girl, stripping her naked, penetrating her, urinating on her, and capturing all in pictures and videos not only constitute rape, but also violate a whole host of other federal and local laws, including those involving child pornography. They called themselves the Rape Crew, for god's sake. They knew perfectly well what they were doing. But they kept doing it because all of them were doing it and they thought that there was safety in numbers. Plus they correctly assumed that the adults around them would try to protect them.

So if the girl and her family hadn't had the tremendous cojones to step up and point fingers at the popular boys from the powerful families, those boys would have continued their antisocial, illegal, selfish behavior into adulthood. They would have probably become serial criminals, in other words, inflicting suffering on victims and burdening society. The way society should try to prevent that is by making the lesson sink really well.

So, in general, I have to disagree with you on this one, Charles.

More...
Posted by floater on January 4, 2013 at 6:32 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 23
@22,

These kids certainly knew what they were doing. They roofied the girl. They had another girl lure her into agreeing to go to the party. The victim's ex-boyfriend left a long trail of evidence showing that he engineered this as revenge for her dumping him. There should be several, if not dozens, of kids on the hook for criminal conspiracy at this point, but the town's authorities have done a spectacular job of covering this up, including destroying evidence. And that's the main reason why I don't give a rat's ass that these kids' names will be tarnished forever. Had the authorities done their jobs and handled this through the courts, the kids' names, were they tried as juveniles with sealed records, would have been protected.

But, as with the killing of Trayvon Martin, it's going to take a public witch hunt for the authorities to take any action.
Posted by keshmeshi on January 4, 2013 at 6:40 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 24
The case in India and the plot of this movie are individual cases that are abhorrent.

However, it rarely plays that way. So what we see is an art form of demonization...demonization of anything that might upset the Agenda. All men are manipulative bad guys. And now, all teenage boys are psychopaths. Eventually all forms of asymmetrical sex will have to be outlawed.

Unless they are both 28 year old joggers and fat tire snow bikers living in a $500,000 condo in South Lake Union...same height and same body mass index, they cannot have relationships.

That is Democrat Law.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on January 4, 2013 at 6:54 PM · Report this
25
Bull fucking shit. My 12 year old knows right from wrong. The age of these kids is a red herring. Fuck 'em. I hope they rot in jail.
Posted by I Got Nuthin' on January 4, 2013 at 7:54 PM · Report this
26
We should absolutely shame the fuck out of kids who do abhorrent, criminal, fucked-up shit like rape girls and laugh about it.

And it will be effective and reasonable IF our adult population doing the shaming is really interested in an outcome, rather than simply wallowing in a pile of self-righteous indignation and revenge porn.

Frankly, I buy that public shaming is a totally reasonable response. But lets be honest - for too many people, they don't want to stop at publicly shaming then jailing so that these boys might pay their debt to society. They want to ruin a person's life forever. They don't want healing, they want a stoning, they want someone fed to the lions, and they never really believed in that reformation bullshit anyway. They're nearly gleeful in their desire to doom these boys forever.

These boys behaved like sick fucks. If you genuinely think they can be reformed at some level, then you have to step up and say when the ramifications are over and the healing begins. Otherwise, drop your pretense, and just bring on the firing squad. I'm not kidding. If a rapist is always a rapist, then just fucking kill them all, or justify why we should put a RAPIST back out in public where they will inevitable RAPE again. OR, tell us when the punishment is over, and what should be considered in the duration and severity of that punishment - that they were boys? That they have pasts of their own? That they may have a future that is, minimally, totally free of rape or violence? When does it stop?

Else it's Hammurabi all the way down.
Posted by nullbull on January 4, 2013 at 9:02 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 27
Charles, just get your facts straight. You link to the video, and then you claim they're 16. The main person in the video, Michael Nodianos is 18 & was going to OSU, as I wrote earlier. This is basic information you can find easily on the internet. Limiting yourself to searching only CNN is, quite frankly, not even at amateur blogger level.

What you demonstrate is just intellectual laziness. You begin w/ a conclusion & mold the story to fit it. Why should anyone bother w/ your ideas?
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on January 4, 2013 at 9:04 PM · Report this
28
Oh, so it's boys will be boys? Once again, your attitude is the one that's dangerous, Mudede.
Posted by Not This Shit Again on January 4, 2013 at 9:26 PM · Report this
29
As recently as the nineteenth century, fourteen year olds were filling adult roles. Prolonged adolescence is a comparatively recent phenomenon. Children of this age are inexperienced and may be forgiven mistakes, but a lack of basic values requires some response.
Posted by Don't you think he looks tired? on January 4, 2013 at 9:49 PM · Report this
Charles Mudede 30
@27, CNN is worried about being sued, so forgive me for taking their caution seriously.
Posted by Charles Mudede on January 4, 2013 at 10:06 PM · Report this
Charles Mudede 31
Even the Atlantic calls them boys: "The hackers think the "Rape Crew" consists of more than two people. As LocalLeaks notes, Trent Mays and Malik Richmond, the two boys charged with the rape, have been released on bail and had their cases moved to the juvenile system. LocalLeaks posted the names of two more students — the boy who tweeted out the picture of the girl being dragged around, and the boy whose house was where the rape allegedly occurred. The leak suggests that the boy who hosted the party in question was not punished because his mother is the prosecuting attorney for Jefferson County, where Steubenville is located."
Posted by Charles Mudede on January 4, 2013 at 10:16 PM · Report this
Charles Mudede 32
and, lastly, Malik and Trent are 16!
Posted by Charles Mudede on January 4, 2013 at 10:18 PM · Report this
chaseacross 33
Adulthood/childhood isn't a binary -- the gradations of maturity are apparent both in both the primitive and the modern milestones. When the young boy in a neolithic community underwent circumcision, it might mark his manhood but was often either the culmination or the beginning of a socialization process. In modernity we observe a series of milestones, legal architectures that graduate the child into citizenship (the fullest expression of which is office-holding, with the highest offices restricted to the old). Each gradation, encapsulated in its milestones, has implicit and explicit expectations; negotiation of one territory of responsibility are reward with entree into the next. In this case, to not rape, to not do great evil, to exercise a modicum (though not perhaps the fullest the measure), of compassion, is expected, and rightly so. The young men who did this should suffer the fullest measure of our society's wrath -- their anguish should be an example in the eyes of posterity. I believe in a restorative, not a punitive justice; I don't believe in lex talionis. Justice, though, exists not to serve the morality of the moment but the broader needs of the society that expresses it. The community and the culture that precipitated this grave crime are diseased, and I think the first step to healing these evils is to punish the perpetrators in the fullest measure possible. We are embrued as a country by these kinds of events; why would we forfeit the surest means of ablution?
Posted by chaseacross on January 4, 2013 at 10:23 PM · Report this
chaseacross 34
An addendum: what better way could we command the attention and the correction of these evils than by punishing the offenders, ie, the "children"? To let the young men go, and I agree they are neither fully specialized or fully developed (which is to say not as deserving as individuals of punishment than adult men), is to signal to the community that this crime is not so terrible that their failures are not so serious. To be properly corrective for the community, to command the fullest the attention, the punishment of these young men must be so great and so terrible as to linger in memory for generations. We have only these mechanisms to redress this wrong: law (civil and criminal) and shame. We do not yet have a structure to indict a town, so we must make do.
Posted by chaseacross on January 4, 2013 at 10:40 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 35
"I think it's reasonable to assume that most children develop an understanding of what is right and wrong, at least by their teens."

"My 12 year old knows right from wrong. The age of these kids is a red herring."

"They knew perfectly well what they were doing."

"These kids certainly knew what they were doing."
If we're going assume that children have fully developed morals and ethics when they are teenagers, then why do we restrict them from voting? From driving? From being drafted into war? From holding public office? From getting married? From signing a legal contract?

Are they adults or aren't they? Let's have one standard please.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on January 4, 2013 at 11:04 PM · Report this
Lissa 36
@32: And again I ask you Charles, what about the girl? How old is she? What is her life to be like? What do you think should be done to mitigate the ruination of her future? What do you think these boys, these parents, these coaches, cops and judges, what do they owe her?
She will never be the same. They have blighted her world.
Shame until the day they all die would be barely enough.
Posted by Lissa on January 4, 2013 at 11:13 PM · Report this
Lissa 37
35: Don't even Urgutha. I for one am not saying they should be tried as adults. I don't want their heads on a plate. But the idea that at 16 years old, these boys didn't know that to drug, rape, sodomize, piss upon, photograph and mock this girl was wrong, is ludicrous. They behaved like monsters. Downy cheeked, dewy eyed, fresh faced and gawky, but monsters none the less. And their punishment should reflect that.
Posted by Lissa on January 4, 2013 at 11:24 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 38
@37,
And their punishment should be... what?

To shame them for life? Well, that's kind of up to the shamers and shamee, isn't it? A judge can't exactly sentence someone to "feel shame" for what they did. A person can only feel shame if they genuinely feel it themselves.

So what should their punishment be?
Posted by Urgutha Forka on January 5, 2013 at 12:17 AM · Report this
39
I could not get past 30 seconds of this video and I cannot even understand why anyone even Charles would offer support for them even considering their age.
They may have been under 18 and they may now be over 18 but they made this video public, they put this information out there, they made themselves public figures by way of the internet and you cannot take that back. It is not like someone searched them out and forced them to record this for all to see, they did it themselves they put their names and faces in public and they are the only ones to blame.
I am sad that even watching 30 seconds of that video may have increased their popularity via the InterWebs.
Charles they are young men not boys and they may not have the best judgement but they do know right from wrong. Watching this and offering acceptance is not like looking out your window and watching your neighbors TV being stolen and feeling bad they lost their TV and you did nothing. Here a girl was RAPED and a group of guys promote their conquest and you offer justification.
Charles you have reached a new low one even lower than I thought was possible but then I figure you just posted this for this exact response.
Posted by WhatisworseCharlesselfloveorthisvideo on January 5, 2013 at 12:24 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 40
I think Charles makes a superb point here.

Children and teens are told they're not old enough to understand sex, and then are bombarded with sexual advertisements and media programming constantly. They are told they aren't responsible enough to be granted the privileges of adults - because they're too immature and unpredictable and can't make good decisions - and then when they act immature and unpredictable and don't make good decisions, they're told they're going to be punished for it, because they should act like mature, predictable, good decision-making-adults.

The mixed messages children and teens receive is reprehensible.

If we're going to treat them as children, we should punish them as children. If we're going to punish them as adults, they MUST be treated as adults. Period.

Treat them as adults or not. One or the other. One standard is enough.

P.S. If that wasn't the point you were trying to make
Charles, I apologize for my misinterpretation.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on January 5, 2013 at 12:26 AM · Report this
41
@26, @35:
I agree.

Teenagers are not adults, and they should not be tried as adults. But they definitely should be tried as juveniles. And juvenile court should punish, but also facilitate rehabilitation.
In almost every culture, 15 to 25 year old males commit most violent crimes. There is probably some evolutionary aspect to it, since warriors/ soldiers are usually recruited from that demographic. This also suggests that rehabilitation has a good chance, otherwise the proclivity for violence would be spread out over the whole lifetime of men, and not concentrate within those years.

The whole assumption that children are not individuals has me stumped, though. Even babies are individuals with very distinct character traits. Individualism =/= fully formed adult.

And last, but not least: teenagers are definitely able to kill their abusers, and not only in self-defense, but execution style.
Posted by migrationist on January 5, 2013 at 12:44 AM · Report this
42
Unlike many other crimes, these crimes are being downplayed and excused by the family and community figures who would normally have the duty of guiding and/or shaming teenagers back to the right path, but aren't in this case. If they are lucky, the public shaming/ prosecution will lead them to reject the moral norms of their sick communities and they can find some other models. Unfortunately, the United States has a seeming never ending supply of people in public and private spheres who will tell them the only thing they did wrong was getting caught. Let's really catch and punish them then.
Posted by cracked on January 5, 2013 at 12:54 AM · Report this
43
I'm not sure the members of Anonymous who are pursuing these cases are primarily about shaming the teenagers. They are lighting up a trail of suspects and evidence that the hope will force the state to intervene because the local law enforcement, prosecutorial, and judicial authorities are all too corrupt and too directly involved with the actors in the cases. In any case, people need to be protected from people like that guy at Ohio State. He put his true self on video. Anything someone is capable of doing at age 17, they can do at 18.
Posted by cracked on January 5, 2013 at 1:00 AM · Report this
44
@Urgutha Forka yes there are situation where that mindset is acceptable but this is not one of them. The actions were not an oops or an Oh My Bad, they were conscience enough to post ONLINE a followup report that was made available for the world to see.
These are not children they are young men who know right from wrong.
By your justification a 17 year old who does the same thing as an 11 year old knows no different.
We need to stop looking at age as the just factor and look at what is going on and these boys knew what was going on and there is video to prove it.
Posted by ItsnotrapebecausetheywereboysCharlesM on January 5, 2013 at 1:00 AM · Report this
Lissa 45
@38: Prison until they are 21 and registered sex offenders for life.

Posted by Lissa on January 5, 2013 at 1:25 AM · Report this
Soupytwist 46
The most important point that Charles makes in this post is that the human brain, especially connections to the frontal lobe, isn't done developing until our mid-20s at the earliest (and new research is suggesting it might be later!).

NPR story: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story…
HHS doc: http://www.hhs.gov/opa/familylife/tech_a…

Mandated counseling into adulthood is a start for teen perpetrators of any crime, but especially for violent crimes against other people as it shows a significant lack of empathy and attachment which needs to be addressed early and often.

Personally, I think their entire families should be mandated for therapy, individual and family, because these kinds of actions are modeled on/reinforced by their home lives. Their parents are probably more fucked up than they are.

But that's a pipe dream.

As far as criminal prosecution? Probation for at least 10 years. Any subsequent violent crime should be examined in light of their juvenile records and be admissible evidence in trials.
Posted by Soupytwist http://twitter.com/katherinesmith on January 5, 2013 at 3:07 AM · Report this
47
The most savage of the "rape crew" who raped the woman to death on a bus in India was a minor. Guess we should just have a strongly-worded conversation with his parents.

Shame the hell out of these bastards, and then lecture the media to forgive them if and when they become responsible and decent adults.
Posted by Karina on January 5, 2013 at 8:39 AM · Report this
mtnlion 48
Boys or not, they're disgusting, amoral humans who require swift attention to limit the harm they cause in the future. To, if possible, show them what monsters they are and if that is not possible (because they are so dumb or psychopathic), at least show them that such behavior will not be tolerated by us. Public exposure drowns them in the glory they seemed to delight in when it was in small amounts. Let 'em have it.

And also, @12 makes a great point. Your logic is so fallible because it relieves every person of responsibility for the shitty things we do. Every rapist could make a million excuses about why they are how they are (their upbringing, religion, limited IQ, the catch-all blanket term "society"), but that won't get them off the hook. Nor should it. Remember, we *all* are raised in this shallow bullshit sex-crazed fanatically religious male-centric rape-endorsing culture, but the vast majority of teenage boys don't brag about raping an unconscious girl. And I would also argue that shaming people like this is actually part of what helps to change a culture. It serves as a strong reminder that, no matter how mass depraved, we mostly still have some goddamn standards.

Some people are just fucking terrible. And they should be made aware of it and punished accordingly--I think public shaming is a pretty good place to start. Worse than jail; probably even more effective.

Posted by mtnlion on January 5, 2013 at 9:22 AM · Report this
Charles Mudede 49
@32, im saying about the girl because she did absolutely nothing wrong. i'm dealing with the wrongdoers.
Posted by Charles Mudede on January 5, 2013 at 9:38 AM · Report this
mtnlion 50
Also, the whole "brain development and culpability" issue is a really sticky one, legally and ethically.

Does anyone believe there aren't men spending lifetimes in prison whose brains are no more developed or bright than the average 16-year-old's?
Posted by mtnlion on January 5, 2013 at 9:59 AM · Report this
Charles Mudede 51
@32, im [not mentioning] the girl because she did absolutely nothing wrong. i'm dealing with the wrongdoers.

need coffee...
Posted by Charles Mudede on January 5, 2013 at 10:17 AM · Report this
TVDinner 52
@51: But how can we, as a society, get justice for her without punishing the shit out of these evildoers?
Posted by TVDinner http:// on January 5, 2013 at 10:25 AM · Report this
53
The cost of protecting the privacy of these self-avowed rapists is more rapes. By hiding the truth, we'd abet local efforts to cover up the incident, thereby perpetuating the criminality of the rapists. We'd also miss the chance to communicate to other like-minded "boys" that raping people isn't OK. The whole premise of Charles' write-up appears to be that society is failing to communicate this message to teenage boys. Public shaming communicates the message broadly and effectively.

The benefit of protecting their anonymity would be to ease their rehabilitation, assuming they can be rehabilitated. It will take a while to outlive the stigma attached to them by this incident. But they could easily escape this stigma by changing their names and moving away from their hometown. It will be much easier for them to move on than it will be for their victim.

So shame away, I say. The damage to the perpetrators is reparable, and the benefits to society are significant. Unless you're fine with teenage girls getting raped and don't think we should be trying to prevent it from happening.
Posted by Charles, please give the matter some more thought on January 5, 2013 at 10:56 AM · Report this
Rotten666 54
Blaming the parents can be appropriate to a point. Some of these kids might be totally moral and ethical kids, raised by upright moral and ethical parents. But then they succumb to peer pressure and do terrible things.
Posted by Rotten666 on January 5, 2013 at 11:04 AM · Report this
Lissa 55
I like soupytwists idea of mandatory counseling for the perpetrators and their families. If there is to be anything approaching rehabilitation for them, the environment from which they came would need to be addressed as well. A shrink could talk these boys into a coma and it would all be undone when they went home to a family that excused their crimes.
Posted by Lissa on January 5, 2013 at 11:21 AM · Report this
Bonefish 56
Wrong. Sure; the human brain doesn't finish developing until the early twenties. But Charles writes as if the psychological switch from "helpless minor" into "fully functional adult" occurs on one's 18th birthday, just as suddenly as the legal switch. It doesn't.

Eighteen was chosen as the "adult" age because our legal system needed to have one consistent age and 18 was good enough; not because 18 is where some type of magical developmental milestone suddenly occurs. The brain develops gradually just like other parts of the body.

Sixteen-year-olds may not be adults yet, legally or developmentally, but they're most of the way there. They're far enough along that they should at least be able to tell that gang-rape is wrong. They're far enough along that they bear responsibility when they commit acts like this. Being 16 is an excuse for mild idiocy, not for being a violent fucking sociopath.

I'm all for trying minors as minors in our legal system, but this piece makes them out to be purely the suggestible victims of their own surroundings: that is not the case. Whatever social repercussions they face are appropriate whether they've reached legal adulthood or are "only" 8/9ths of the way there.

This isn't the same as a five-year-old who shoots his friend with his dad's gun while playing cops and robbers. Try them as minors if that's the best course for our legal system to take (they haven't crossed that legal border yet, after all). But don't write about them as if they're too young and naive to know that gang-rape is a serious, violent act. This wasn't due to their lack of two more years of growing up: this was their own doing.
Posted by Bonefish http://5bmisc.blogspot.com/ on January 5, 2013 at 7:05 PM · Report this
Bonefish 57
48 said it better; should have read some comments before responding to the article.
Posted by Bonefish http://5bmisc.blogspot.com/ on January 5, 2013 at 7:10 PM · Report this
Anne18 58
So your point is that "kids" can't do anything calculated to be vicious? Just incidental viciousness? I call bullshit on that.

But you're right - it does come from something. Ellen's character in Hard Candy (a fictional movie) I assumed was just Doogie Howser smart and extremely twisted - twisted by what they never delve into - and not a complete improbability, especially in a movie fer christsake. But these guys were twisted by something.

We do not know where they came from, just what they have done. And it speaks volumes.
Posted by Anne18 on January 5, 2013 at 7:43 PM · Report this
59
Sealing records is for drug offenses and stealing and vandalism and other dumb shit people do when they're teenagers. If you're 16, you may not realize that shoplifting beers is wrong, so that shouldn't follow you the rest of your life, but you do know gang rape is wrong.

Also, for people arguing against public shaming: there are several reasons why it's the perfect option here. This isn't one person doing something wrong (or a group of teenagers doing something wrong), this is an example of a whole town doing something wrong by protecting them. They are the ones who need to be publicly shamed - to send them a signal that this behavior is not acceptable at all. Because honestly, something like this (athlete/rapists being protected because of a fucked up value system that values hometown wins over the well being of women) happens every couple years, and while I haven't done any scientific studies showing where it happens the most, I seem to remember the word "Ohio" coming up a lot with these types of cases. Can we make small football towns in Ohio synonymous with athlete/rapists the way Arizona is with racism until this goes away?

Also, in terms of ruining their lives forever, have they shown any signs of repentance? Because if they haven't, then go ahead and ruin their lives forever. These guys are shitbags. If they repent, and only if they repent, can we talk about forgiveness. And for people worrying about their ability to find work: they can ALWAYS get a job in the future: if someone who is known as a member of a self-described "rape crew" in a nationally-publicized case truly repents of their behavior later on, they can almost definitely get a job as a speaker educating other men about rape and domestic violence. But that would depend on them, wouldn't it?
More...
Posted by redemma on January 5, 2013 at 8:25 PM · Report this
60
If the girl is old enough to be blamed and shamed for the rape, so are the boys.
Posted by Amanda on January 5, 2013 at 11:51 PM · Report this
61
As disgusting as the events *apparently* were, I have a serious problem with the way these guys are getting tried, convicted and sentenced by media - and the sentence is likely global and permanent.

Supposedly there is - or was - a plethora of documentary evidence of what happened, but so much of that evidence is hearsay and/or vanished that a proper trial is desperately needed to sort the facts from the bullshit. Even the guy in the video - what he says is stupid and vile, but who knows if he is talking about what he saw happen, what he thinks happened, what he heard happened or if he's just making shit up to troll - and he CLEARLY likes to troll. Most of us should be able to remember how controversial rumours spread like wildfire in teen communities, and few people in those communities know anything about the value of fact-checking, evidence or discretion.

It is all too easy for me to imagine a girl being carried from a room and some joker (like the one in the video above) saying 'ha ha they're going to rape her', after which the story takes on a life of its own. Sure, it doesn't LOOK like that's what happened, but there's enough nebulous possibility there that no one's eternal reputation should be staked on nth-hand accounts assembled in the media - and ESPECIALLY no kid's.
Posted by diner mo on January 6, 2013 at 2:25 AM · Report this
62
@61: "I have a serious problem with the way these guys are getting tried, convicted and sentenced by media - and the sentence is likely global and permanent. "

Good. We're not a court of law, you incredible idiot. The evidence of their ill-act was not a photoshop or cgi stand-in. They were horrible people on camera, and they are being treated like horrible people. Their example should resonate, the court of public opinion has nothing to do with "the media".
Posted by fuck off for defending rape culture on January 6, 2013 at 10:22 AM · Report this
63
So the Stranger's "reporting" now consists of scouring the Internet for stories about rape. Either there's nothing happening in Seattle, or "progressives" really get off on rape.
Posted by Mister G on January 6, 2013 at 12:54 PM · Report this
Lissa 64
So Mr G hasn't read today's morning news.....
Posted by Lissa on January 6, 2013 at 2:09 PM · Report this
65
Was there a story about dolphins, the gang rapists of the sea? Are there dolphins in India?
Posted by Mister G on January 6, 2013 at 3:33 PM · Report this
66
@56: I thought you said it pretty well.

@60: Exactly.
Posted by Minerva on January 6, 2013 at 5:22 PM · Report this
67
Man, you guys got trolled HARD.
Posted by clashfan on January 6, 2013 at 5:34 PM · Report this
Bonefish 68
67: Only someone as dumb as MisterG could go on a crusade about how people are too intolerant of rape and still come across as more boring and tiresome than scandalous. Not to mention redundant: how many more times do you think he'll repeat the same dolphin-rape joke before he finally figures out that nobody's outraged or impressed?
Posted by Bonefish http://5bmisc.blogspot.com/ on January 6, 2013 at 6:09 PM · Report this
69
@67: His usual capitalism/marxism shtick is generally less tasteless and exploitative, it's at a much lesser expense.
Posted by one's far less horrifying than the other on January 6, 2013 at 8:23 PM · Report this
singing cynic 70
@63 - this is a national story that's been all over the news - the Times has been reporting it, for Christ's sake. Charles got the video from CNN. Giving a shit about national news is not "getting off" on rape. Slog isn't exclusively a Seattle blog - it's always covered national news.
Posted by singing cynic on January 7, 2013 at 5:37 AM · Report this
71
@62 I don't defend rape culture, and I don't want to stand up for any of those kids. But the narrative that's been assembled in the media out of a collage of piecemeal footage and hearsay is being taken at face value everywhere I look, with no thought at all given to what is or may be unknown, and there are many gaps. I want rape culture to change, and I see it as ultimately counter-productive if mass reactivity overtakes the processes of justice. The danger here is something like what happened with recovered memory syndrome, where the lack of patience and discernment in reacting to apparent instances creates the risk of the phenomenon as a whole, as well as individual valid cases, being unfairly discredited. Thanks for the insults.
Posted by diner mo on January 7, 2013 at 6:59 AM · Report this
72
I think they should be tried as adults, sent to an adult prison to find out how fun rape is on the flip side, AND publicly shamed for life. The girl will be scarred for life through no fault of their own. They should be doubly scarred, with only themselves to blame. I don't care if they're 16 or 18.
Posted by Tough luck, punks on January 7, 2013 at 8:52 AM · Report this
73
@71: The narrative has been the kids' unabridged words.

"Thanks for the insults."

Thanks for defending rape culture.
Posted by you deserve shame on January 7, 2013 at 8:59 AM · Report this
74
@72: " sent to an adult prison to find out how fun rape is on the flip side"

Rape as justice is pretty much the definition of rape culture. You're no better than these kids, go fuck yourself.
Posted by sleazy conservatives masquerading as hippies on January 7, 2013 at 9:01 AM · Report this
75
@71 The one kid's unabridged words linked above are not a whole, discrete narrative, and they are not being treated as a whole, discrete narrative in the 'court of public opinion'. To the public they are and have always been one part of the larger narrative of the alleged rape, because that is the way they were first presented. That narrative is very much abridged, piecemeal, cobbled together and full of hearsay (hearsay through a community of drunk teenagers). It may be that what happened is exactly what appears to have happened, or it may be that there is unexpected stuff in the gaps. I want justice, but because of this I continue to feel queasy about vigilantism. Go ahead and think of me as a sleazy conservative if you want, but my larger issue is the way progressive movements ultimately get undermined by the blowback if and when these kinds of stories come unstuck. Rape culture is real and needs to be challenged and dismantled, but there is more going on in this picture.
Posted by diner mo on January 7, 2013 at 9:52 AM · Report this
76
I meant @73 in my previous comment, not @71.
Posted by diner mo on January 7, 2013 at 9:54 AM · Report this
77
@74, letting them experience the consequences of their actions isn't "rape culture", you moron. Prison is justice. What happens to them their is chance, and they are the ones who rolled the dice. Cry me a river.
Posted by Tough luck punks on January 7, 2013 at 1:41 PM · Report this
78
Bullshit, Charles. I spend many hours a week around the "impressionable youths" you speak of, and they do know the difference between right and wrong. The issue is that they're not expected to live up to it. I go to my weekly sporting events, and the kids looking for some good direction and attention inevitably show up, and, sometimes, frequently even, the teenagers are like "fuck this" and "bitch that," and, when they're called out on that behavior, apologize and straighten up. I go over to lead sporting, discussion, and academic groups at the local rec center, and they act all bad until they're told to behave. They know it's wrong, but the culture they live in accepts it. It's not that they're "children," it's that grown folks in their community act a fool, and they emulate that. To a certain extent, that does remove them from responsibility, but not totally, since they respond when called out on it. They KNOW they shouldn't be behaving like that, but they see adults in their community acting like that, so they emulate, until they're set straight, in line with what they know is right. While I don't normally agree with religious stuff, the Catholic idea that the "age of reason" lies somewhere around 7 seems pretty accurate to me. That seems to be the age where one develops a healthy level of respect and empathy for other people. Sure, young kids aren't fully in control of their emotions. Sure, culture has an impact on people. But to say that a 16-year-old doesn't get that rape is wrong is just an excuse for bad behavior. If I (a female who looks to be about mid-20's) can get 14- to 16-year-old male kids who have grown up in unthinkably terrible circumstances to stop *cursing* (a small breach of social protocol) in a casual environment with just a sharp admonition, then surely they understand their actions have consequences.
More...
Posted by Ms. D on January 7, 2013 at 7:03 PM · Report this
79
It may very well be true that those boys would have been decent people if it weren't for how society has treated them, but there's a limit to how far that goes. Plenty of abusive parents were abused as children; that's obviously a terrible thing, and it's possible that they wouldn't be abusive if they hadn't been abused, but that doesn't mean they can do whatever they want. While teenage boys may not fully understand the consequences of their actions, they do realize--or should realize, at least--that rape is bad. It's not like that's a very difficult concept.
Posted by doodle4395 on January 7, 2013 at 7:31 PM · Report this
80
@77: It's not just rape culture, it's literal rape.
Posted by grats, sleazeball on January 7, 2013 at 9:11 PM · Report this

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